Have you ever been having one of those days then someone tells you that getting outside will make you feel better?
While we might’ve rolled our eyes at this pesky advice – it turns out it’s totally true. Getting outdoors can provide an incredible boost to our physical and mental health.
And as Fall has arrived with cooler breezes, changing leaves, and less bugs, there’s never been a better time to get out in nature and embrace all of the health benefits mother nature has to offer.
Here’s how embracing the great outdoors can help you lead a happier, healthier life this Autumn.
Physical Health Benefits of Getting Outdoors:
If you’re in a sterile environment 24/7, your immune system won’t get a chance to learn how to properly fight off viruses when they attack. Getting outside and coming into contact with things like dirt helps teach your body what microorganisms are and aren’t dangerous.
Studies show that people who spend time in nature have reduced levels of inflammation in their body. This can help lower the risk of autoimmune disorders, depression, and cancer.
Lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels
A dose of nature is the ultimate de-stresser. A walk outdoors or even just time spent among the trees can help drop your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and decrease stress levels in your body.
When you commit to spending more time outdoors, you’ll likely develop healthy habits that promote an active lifestyle and balanced diet. For instance, you might pick up hiking, running, or start gardening fresh produce.
Getting out in nature can even increase your life expectancy. This is because getting outdoors is associated with a healthy and happy lifestyle including exercise, better air quality, and even social engagement.
Mental Health Benefits of Getting Outdoors:
The world is filled with stimuli that constantly raises our cortisol levels. Getting away from the noise can instantly help you relax.
Better emotional well being
Getting outside can increase your endorphin levels and dopamine production, therefore replacing negative emotions with happy chemicals and feelings of optimism and hope.
Improved mental cognition
Outdoor activity is scientifically proven to help your brain structure. Research shows that time spent outdoors is associated with more grey matter in the areas of the brain that oversee cognitive control, regulation, planning, and memory.
Exposure to natural sunlight helps regulate your body’s internal clock. This helps you feel awake during the day and tired at night, therefore helping you get a better night’s rest.
Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression
Sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D which in turns helps ease depressive symptoms. Pair this with lowered stress levels to help anxiety, and it’s easy to see how getting out in nature can help aid mental health disorders.
So how much time is enough?
You don’t need to spend hours outside every day of the week to reap these benefits.
A study out of the UK showed that those who spent just 2 hours or more in nature per week reported significantly better health than those who didn’t.
So next time you feel in need of a pick me up, or even a permanent boost to your health and happiness, try breathing in some fresh air.
Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it.
Do you want to kick start your new health program? Contact us for a free consult Here.